Evanston shops stock up, sell out of Cubs merchandise


Lauren Duquette/The Daily Northwestern

Cubs merchandise hangs in a store. Evanston stores are stocking up on Cubs merchandise as the team makes its World Series run.

Kristine Liao, Reporter

It’s not every day Jaime Leonardi, co-owner of Stumble & Relish, sees a woman dressed head-to-toe in Cubs gear walk into her store and ask where the Cubs merchandise is located.

“The fans have been coming out of the woodwork in our store,” Leonardi said.

For the first time in 71 years, the Cubs are playing in the World Series, and Evanston store owners are making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Leonardi said.

Stumble & Relish, 1310 Chicago Ave., only has one more Wrigley Field print, and it sold nine of its 12 blue “W” candles. The store even sold out of its Cubs-themed baby rattles, Leonardi said.

Leonardi said the store carries more Chicago-themed products than Cubs-specific products.

“I feel like had I ordered (Cubs) stuff, I would’ve jinxed it,” Leonardi said, laughing. “So I don’t have a ton of Cubs stuff because I felt like I would’ve been overdoing it.”

Leonardi said she has watched every Cubs game this season at the same table in Montrose Saloon for good luck. She also wears her “lucky socks” and Chicago bracelet when the team plays.

“I was a little in shock (when the Cubs made the World Series) because it hasn’t happened in our lifetime, so it was one of those things where it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re actually in the World Series,’” she said. “It was just a lot of cheering and high fives, and people around the bar were just so excited.”

Dan Bruss, general manager of Giordano’s at 1527 Chicago Ave., is also a Cubs fan. Bruss said he thinks the World Series is going to be “huge for the business,” especially for their delivery service.

Giordano’s — the Cubs’ official pizza partner — began delivering pizza in Cubs-themed boxes at the start of the playoff series. On Tuesday, the day of the first game of the World Series, Bruss said Giordano’s ran out of boxes.

At Bennison’s Bakery, 1000 Davis St., store manager Victoria Kraft said their Cubs cupcakes have been specially requested in the past few weeks.

Kraft said their largest order was on Saturday for 50 Cubs cupcakes. Bennison’s also makes themed baked goods for all the other Chicago teams.

“(Sales) have been flying, especially today,” Kraft said. “Everybody’s been getting really excited. They’re coming in and buying them by the dozen.”

Bruss predicted Tuesday would be a busy night, so he hired extra cooks and drivers. Still, he’s “a little unsure” of what to expect.

“This is not something we’ve ever experienced before, you know,” Bruss said. “This is not something my grandparents ever experienced.”

While Bruss is going to be working at Giordano’s on Tuesday night, Kraft said she is going home to watch Tuesday’s game. But she said many of Bennison’s staff members are heading to Wrigleyville.

Kraft said the bakery has been able to accommodate all of the orders received so far.

“As a community, everyone’s coming in here and getting very excited about the Cubs playing whether they’re buying the cookies and cupcakes or not,” Kraft said. “But we’ve had lots of people calling and asking what Cubs items we have.”

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